FRAME 68 STORIES

Bholaratan

Anamika

It’s a recurring dream, Ma! A frame of dense foliage. And, blurred image of a man going away. Stop him! Bholaratan, isn’t he? My only companion at Granny’s house. My first teacher. He taught me alphabets when you all were too busy to play with me! Why didn’t you stop him, Ma? Why didn’t you tell Granny that I had picked her pearl choker, and inadvertently dropped it in garbage? Why did you burden me with this guilt, Ma? The guilt of deceiving my lone companion, when I didn’t know deception, or guilt. Or, the baggage of recurring dreams..

“…..Will you come?” “Sure.” They would be meeting after 45 years. Their last conversation had ended with her saying ‘I am sorry. I can’t.’ They wrote to each other. But seldom. One morning his telephone rang, “Hello?” “He passed away this morning.” A familiar voice answered. Though it sounded brittle. “Jay said he won’t be able to come down.” She continued. “You are the closest I have to family. Will you come?” “Sure”, he said. He had promised to be there for her always. ‘After all these years.’ ‘Always.’ .

He walked

Mihika Jindal

He had been desperate to cross the line and get on to the other side. His forest, the sunshine, the creatures, his creatures, were all being left behind. He had been this close to crossing over since a long time. He kept walking, and walking, and walking; determined. “I’ve finally done it. I have crossed the life I knew,” he sighed. He craved to turn around and give everything he knew a final look. But demons of his past stood there still waiting to engulf him back, but he walked — only this time, never to return!.

Footprints

supriya25

"Please don't leave me here alone", she muttered. "You always wanted isolated life na. Enjoy then", he with smile "Yes I wanted it with you far away from rest of the world." said she. "Sorry babes I never wanted to do that..so lemme say goodbye. Enjoy yourself", he said. She while looking into his eyes, said, "at least leave your footprints in path of eyes..it's enough to live a life for me". .

Footprints

supriya25

"Please don't leave me here alone"she muttered. "You always wanted isolated life na..Enjoy then"he with smile "Yes i wanted it with you far away from rest of the world."she "Sorry babes i never wanted to do that..so lemme say goodbye enjoy yourself"he She while looking into his eyes"atleast leave your footprints in path of eyes..it's enough to live a life for me" .

Inheritance

Madhvi

He made the long walk back home. Deprived of his estate, by sheer treachery. Spreading falsehood, in his name, was something he couldn't bear to witness. At least this quaint little garden was still his, this piece of land was safe from conniving minds. There was blood on their hands, he kept mum about it. He choose to avoid conflict, whenever he felt right. Land disputes last longer than a generation or two combined. .

The Right Path

Meitu Pant

The road to the right path has barriers but he knew he had to tread that. In the silent hours of that morning he killed and buried there a boy who had raped a girl. Then he pulled a stump out to kill himself and walked away. He was his father after all..

As he walked away from the darkness to light, he noticed a car idling. He had been a brilliant medical student, until he met his soulmate in the final year. His parents had sold everything to make their dream possible. She took up medicine, as her parents were doctors. Their's was a match not meant to be. One day he got beaten senseless, and was locked up in a mental asylum. Five years later a phone call freed him. As he reached the main road, the wedding car drove away, a familiar face looked out with tears at him..

"Your wife has few hours to survive. We won't proceed with the surgery until you deposit five lakh. Not a penny less." The words of the heartless doctor ran in his mind. A chill ran down his spine. He had only a lakh of his hard earned money safely tucked in a locker. As he rushed out of the park making a deal for his kidney for the remaining amount he accidentally dropped the keys of the locker somewhere in the bushes. His bag had a hole. So did his destiny..

Justice

meitu pant

The stumps were stumped at his coldness. He came, dumped the body in the bushes and rushed out of the forest. He was in a hurry to be with his daughter. A daughter with a bruised body and a scarred soul. As he walked he looked down at his palm. His little daughter had scribbled justice. Delivered. The four stumps stood still just as that of democracy..

He was tired of hearing his name. He was tired of being a son, a brother, a husband, a father and a friend. He was tired of living up to people's expectations, all the time. Every morning he decided to play himself whilst strolling down the park, alone. He indulged in solace before letting the din take over. The time spent with self gave him the strength to carry on. It was the only time when he played no other role but himself..

Short cut...

Prasad B. Kulkarni

A man: "I pass by this road a lot of times and have seen this short cut too, but I'm hesitant to take it for uncertainty and risk factor" Wise man: "Not every short cut is bad. Some of them are opportunities too. You got to knock the doors and check for yourself. A short cut becomes bad when the morality is compromised and destination becomes important than the path taken and righteousness.".

UNLOCKING

Ruchir Pant

He once belonged here. He is now a millionaire. A celebrated celebrity. They said he had the key to success. But every weekend he would dress up as a commoner and dropped a key in that park. Etched on it the details of a house on a faraway land. His secret gift comforted the lives of many in that park infamous for transgenders, homosexuals and forlorn lovers. The lonely millionaire unlocked his treasure trove of happiness, one key at a time..

All Mine

Sujatha Iyer

He started to leave. Down an unknown path. A pang of pain tore through my soul. “Is this the end?” I cried. The man I had battled the world to wed, is leaving. For good. No words can now bridge this divide, this chasm of silence - silences we had once filled with mischievous smiles and stolen kisses. I wish the world would end now, or perhaps, my life. I looked down, through tear clouded eyes, into my arms. I smiled. I have my son, all to myself. To love and raise as I please..

Take A Leave Of…

anuja bhor

‘Lucky man but incomplete’ I define myself. I am going – away. I lost my wife years back – may be it was my mistake. I remarried in hope to end my turmoil. Soon after that I was devastated. She craved for lust and money. Now I am left with nothing – I lost my children in bargain of my second marriage. I lost my self-respect in order to make my second wife happy. But now it’s all done. I am leaving. Taking a leave from this life..

The Travel Bug.

ArNumb Chakraborty

Life is indeed a journey. I get to demystify myself every time I set out for the unknown. Traveling is not a choice, it is a purpose. A higher purpose than dragging your body through the mundanity of life. Imagine this life to be a grandeur book, with each of its pages meant to be etched with the choicest of experiences. What better way to garner such moments than getting an opportunity to step out from the rustic cobwebs of complacency to kiss the unknown. Step out you must while you can. Each breath is precious, make it count! .

The last customer

S as in Shoumik

He takes one last round of the almost empty park, hoping to find one last customer. Darkness setting in after the sun disappeared few minutes ago. In one last desperate attempt, he goes to the part where people hardly go. And then he hears, then smells, then sees this grunge of a man sitting on the old rusted bench. Cold fog setting in, he asks him, “Do you live here?” “Only at night,” he says. “Want to buy incense sticks?” “I can’t I don’t have any money, but you can put somewhere they buried me.” .

The last customer

S as in Shoumik

He takes one last round of the almost empty park, hoping to find one last customer. Darkness setting in after the sun disappeared few minutes ago. In one last desperate attempt, he goes to the part where people seldom go. And then he hears, then smells, then sees this grunge of a man sitting on the old rusted bench. Cold fog setting in, he asks him, "Do you live here?" "Only at night," he says. "Want to buy incense sticks?" "I can't I don't have any money, but you can put some there, where they buried me." .

Forest Man

Naveen Rane

A decade and half when I started planting the saplings on the barren land which I bought with my hard earned money, everyone laughed at my idea of making a jungle out of it.Time passed and my hard work transformed plant saplings into trees finally shaping it into vibrant forest.The same people who laughed at me are taking their morning walks in the woods for their precious morning air full of oxygen.The once uninhabited land is today home to several wildlife species making it the best habitat forest and earning me the name forest man..

A REASONABLE GAME

Bindu Menon

THE PERPETUAL IGNORANCE IN HER SMILE CONVEYED A MILLION REASONS. REASONS TO HOLD BACK. REASONS TO LET GO. HIS LIPS SHORT OF WORDS TO CONVEY WHAT HIS HEART WANTED TO. MILLION REASONS TO REMIND HER. REMIND HER OF PROMISES MADE ON MOONLIT NIGHTS AND BREAKING DAWNS. REMIND HER OF HIS NEED, REMINDER HER OF HER WANT. TEARS IN HIS VACANT EYES VANISHED IN THE RAY OF HER DECEPTIVE GLANCE. HE TRIED TO HATE HER, FEAR HER..ALL IN VAIN. HAVING LOST IN A GAME SHE MASTERED, HE TRACED HIS FOOTSTEPS BACK TO HIS SOLITUDE. LEARNING REASONS TO UNLOVE. .

A REASONABLE GAME

Bindu Menon

The perpetual ignorance in her smile conveyed a million reasons. Reasons to hold back. Reasons to let go. His lips short of words to convery what his heart desired. A million reasons to remind her. Remind her of promises made on moonlit nights and breaking dawns. Remind her of his need, remind her of her want. Tears in his vacant eyes vanished in the ray of her deceptive glance. He tried to hate her, fear her….all in vain. Having lost in a game she mastered, he traced his footsteps back to his solitude. Learning a million reasons to unlove. .

Breakup

Lata Sunil

Kriti watched him through the window as he walked away dejected. She knew he was hurt at her rejection. Her heart ached with the pain in his eyes. When there was nothing left to say to each other, they just stared. Their eyes remembering the broken promises and unfulfilled dreams. He was teary-eyed. His words soft. Her eyes were dry. She had cried the whole night and the day before. He may hate her and curse her today. But, one day he will realize that she did it for him..

A chance encounter

Manoj Kini

"Good Morning sir, would you mind if I captured your image?" "Would it feature my facial traits?" "No. I was hoping to do it with my words." "What if I were to give you something better instead?" "If it makes my story interesting, I am game!" "I am here to intercept the republic day attack!" "You are a spy? You got to be kidding! Why would you even tell me?" "People love fictional thrill. Your words will be left at that. My face, on the other hand could compromise my mission. Also I can spare your life!".

Everyone was surprised when they received the summons for the extraordinary meeting on a chilly morning. They were exactly hundred in number, members of the most snobbish walking club of the town. They had paid a large sum of money to have the privilege of jogging along the specially designed track. But many were either too busy or too ill to walk. But they all came this Sunday, curious to know the purpose. Tea and Samosas were served. The chairman stood up and began – we are here to discuss the curious case of the missing second stake. .

Selfless World

Sejal Waghmare

One beautiful autumn morning, I was sweeping my Verandah. Unintentionally, dried leaves and twigs got pushed towards the road. I noticed a trespasser was observing this restlessly, he offered the help, 'Amma, I will dump all the waste carefully in the bin. Hand me that broom' without my consent, he started sweeping. I presumed, he must be some needy and pulled out a potli of coins. He nodded saying, 'Amma, Whole world is our verandah'. It took me few long minutes to realize, I shouted 'Oh bhaiyya, bakshish toh lete jao' he was gone by then..

RUN AWAY FROM...?

Ankita Chauhan

I am running away.. Running from the expressions hurting me most, Running from the noises drilling my nerves, Running from the shadows of secure life Running from the stillness of embellished words On that path I picked…The scattered pieces of myself, I tried to connect the beats—of every past moment And after making a perfect picture, I destructed that image simultaneously. Is it so hard to rekindle the one—I lost once? If you could find me somewhere…somehow Will you return me—the real me? Meanwhile, I am running from myself I am running towards myself. .

Life in woods

JP Negi

Daddy leaves early for work & comes late, lot of time is consumed in traveling & 12 hours in factory doing manual job. Commuting is becoming difficult as he is ageing. Mother argues for shifting with him but father refuses citing city’s unhealthy environment- poisonous air, polluted water, social life on threat all the time. We live in woods in healthy environment. Daddy says city life gives more diseases than you earn. Mamma keeps staring at him till he turns around and waves goodbye. She fears fro his life. He suffers from lung cancer. Can we grow woods around?.

BLIND FAITH

Roda Noshir Davar

While working on the farm he could see the road passing through the forest. It seemed to beckon him but was afraid to venture out. At least he got two meals a day and a pittance at the end of the day. One day he just packed his Jhola and left. He had faith that God had something better for him in store at the other end of the road. He walked dejectedly and suddenly he felt a shaft of happiness run through his body and a conviction - 'a better life awaited him'..

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